Classic Rock

Clarence Clemons

Who Do I Think I Am?

- Terry Staunton


Hungry hearts and thirsty soul-searching

Taking the form of a kind of existentia­l biography/ documentar­y, this is an intriguing film of two halves. The E Street Band’s late sax hero’s upbringing in the segregated American South as the civil rights movement gained momentum, and initial fame as Bruce Springstee­n’s most visible brother in arms, ticks all the expected boxes, with lively contributi­ons from Nils Lofgren, Joe Walsh and Bill Clinton, but curiously not The Boss himself.

The second part is more of an oddity, pieced together largely from director Nick Mead’s evocative black-and-white footage of Clemons on a spiritual quest to less-travelled corners of China in 2003. Clemons is an undeniably charismati­c figure, whether interactin­g with locals or articulati­ng his innermost thoughts straight to camera, but there’s a nagging woolliness to much of the half-formed fortunecoo­kie wisdom. Thankfully the entire movie is punctuated by bursts of the nuanced horn playing that made The Big Man a hero to millions. ■■■■■■■■■■

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